Just in time for the fall elections – imagine.
So I went ahead and registered Communication Overtones there. I always feel that it is a good idea to get your blog out in as many legitimate, third-party lists for the subject of your blog as possible. And this one doesn't require you to meet any ranking objectives like the Ad Age Power 150 and other indexes do.
They do have a very strong anti-spam control in place that requires you to place a link on your page to prove you are the owner of the blog. I am not really sure how I feel about that part since I abhor reciprocal linking, but I also understand (somewhat) their reasoning. And since I was writing this story anyway, I felt I could do it without losing the integrity of the blog.
Finding Niche Blogs
From a PR and Marketing perspective, the Blogcatalog might also be a good place to start looking for blogs on a particular subject that you might have a hard time finding elsewhere. But I would be sure to run any blog through Technorati and also check linkbacks from Google (link:www.BlogURLHere.com) to see how influential the blog is among its peers. While links and influence numbers continue to be a hot button issue among bloggers, from a PR/Marketing perspective they give some idea of who are the influential voices at a given time.
Here is my rule of thumb, in outbound relationship building, a Technorati Authority (said while gritting my teeth) of 50 or more shows that a blog has some loyal following and might provide a good opportunity. Less than that is someone that isn't really taking the networking part of blogging seriously or is a brand new blog, both of which can be watched to see if any changes occur.
For monitoring and customer service issues, a blog with an Authority of 1 is just as important as one with a larger authority, but might be prioritized slightly differently. For instance, if TechCrunch is slamming your company you have about 1-3 hours to respond before you are irrelevant to the comment stream – and better to be on the hour side of that range. If a lesser known blog posts a rant, you might have a window of 24 hours or so.
In any case, Blogcatalog is good to show you who is writing about something, but not how influential they are.